Thursday, July 11, 2013

Ability vs. Effort, and an Award


ONE quick thing- Deniece over at This Little Piggy Reads did a swell post about The Meek Moose clipart!  There's a giveaway for winner's choice for two winners!  You could even get a custom colored set of football clipart if you have a hankering to see your favorite team colors on your teacher products this fall.


Now, onward into some deep professional mathematical thinking:

Momma found her book!  Wahoo! Yes, kittens, Laney Sammons Building Mathematical Comprehension has revealed itself to me.  It KNEW that a needed it so badly!  And it turned out to be the Mayor McCheese's fault. But we will press forward.

I have mentioned multiple times how much I loved her first book Guided Math- it was a super easy read and very inspiring.  This book here is a bit more meaty.  Takes me longer to digest.  And then my mind gets off on a tangent and then I've lost track of what I was reading and wooo-weee, I start over again.  I am still liking it though- don't get me wrong. 

So I thought I'd share one fantastical thought I had from the first chapter.
Laney says here on page 26,

"When students believe that their efforts determine their achievement rather than just their innate ability, they are more persistent in their mathematics learning and, thus, are more successful."

Jeepers.  Isn't that just the point of, well, life?  And I know I do not emphasize this enough.  And how do you anyway?  How do you get kids to think about ability vs. effort and make a decision to attempt the latter over the former?

And this is why I have kids of my own, kittens.  Perfect little groomed guinea pigs.
So I thought about what maybe I could do with my students as a little kinesthetic activity a the beginning of the school year to give them a real example of ability vs effort.  I came up with this skeleton of an idea, and tried it out on Squirt.  Now, I have to keep in mind that's she's older - nine, about to go into the fourth grade.  I also have to weigh in that she's a teacher pleaser, a forty year-old on the inside,  and one of the sharper knives in the drawer.  But I still think this is doable for my Dueces.

I am thinking that I will probably have to spend time discussing these two words.  They should definitely be part of the word wall, and be referred to over the course of the entire year.
I can't decide if I should have just one kid model it in the beginning, or if it really will be better to have all 23 kids try to get from one point to the other all at the same time.  When I think about the whole group method, I think they will be able to see that some ran, and some walked, but they all got there.
Ha - it was great when she said she had to put effort into it.  I also wasn't expecting her to use this method to get to the flower pot.  I thought it would be more of a knee crawl.  But that will be part of the magic of doing this with a whole class- in that they might all try something different.
On this last try, I realized how important it was when it came to the words I was going to choose to say.  The first way I tried to give her directions, it really sounded impossible to her.  So I rephrased.  But this also got me thinking about how we give directions in the classroom anyway.  What if the reason why some kids don't do the task is that they way we told them to do it sounds impossible to them?  We get aggravated- but what if just changing the wording, or even the parameters a little would help them be successful?
Another teaching point to make is how they solved the problem using different strategies.  Some methods will get you to the solution faster, some slower.  After reviewing this with Squirt and talking about how I had expected her to try to roll to get there, she was all- can we do that again?  And I think this is a good connection to teaching as well.  Let them be successful with a strategy they used- but always show them another- they might just want to try it out.
I have a lot to think about.

AHK! I forgot to mention- there is a book study going on about this book.  You can get connected over at Primary Inspired if you are interested.  They are way ahead of me in the reading though.

In other news: 

Thanks so much to Christin at Shifting Teacher K-2 for nominating me for the Liebster Award!

I feel like a cheater pants though- because I am over 200 followers.  This bloglovin' deal has made people stop clicking the blogger follow me button thing, because they think it’s google reader- but it’s not.  So I have a mix of people over the two readers.  The whole bloglovin' panic is just odd.  I still see all the blogs I follow on my blogger page- but oh well.  Am I the only one here?  Maybe I never used Google Reader in the first place, so I have no idea what I'm talking about.


But I will do the following for Christin- I'm going to answer her 11 questions- because we all love finding out random things about me, now don't we?  I know you're all dying to know:


1. If you could be any actor or actress, who would it be and why?
Johnny Depp.  Seriously, he’s still hot.  I’d stare at myself all day.

2. What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
Quirky ones.  I really do like the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde.

3. Do you have any kids or pets?  What are their ages? 
I have three kids -  my oldest son 12, my daughter 9, and my youngest Babyzilla boy 2.  And we have a fat and lazy dachshund named Jackson that we should really take for a walk or put on a diet.

4. What is your favorite teacher store?
The Dollar Tree - snarf.  But if I ever have money, I do really like Lakeshore.

5. What is your favorite clothing store to shop for work wardrobes? Why?
Target.  But when I one day make millions and get some serious liposuction, I’m going to park myself at Loft.

6. If you could be on a reality show, what would you choose and why?
Clean House.  I want those people to fix this mess.  Plus that fix-it guy is a handsome man with a power drill.

7. What do you do on the weekends?
As little as possible.

8. How many years have you been teaching?
This fall will be the beginning of my twelfth year.

9. What is your favorite subject to teach and why?
This has changed over the years.  At first it was reading, and then it was math, and now I’ve gotten to the point where I love them all.  In second grade, anyway.  Maybe this would change if I did another grade level.

10. What is your preferred teacher duty assignment?
Ummmmm, the word “preferred” makes this sticky... but I guess when it comes to committee assignments, I do like being on the PYP and multi-cultural committee

11. If you were on a desert island, what would you want to have with you?
A Pepsi machine.  Ok, ok.  And a never ending supply of Nutella.

As far as new blogs go- I did find this one yesterday, Cupcakes & Curriculum, by strolling through the TpT forums.  She was talking about making her new blog look cute.  And when I went to check her out- it turns out she's been very busy and figured out how to make her blog unique and special all on her own.  And the great thing about it is she links to the tutorials she used!  Go check her out, find out how to get technological with yourself, and see what greatness she is going to have to offer us!

Cupcakes & Curriculum
Have you found any new up and coming blogs?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for linking up with your post and joining in on the book study. I know exactly what you mean when you say this book is's not a read in front of the TV kinda book. It needs it's own space! But so worth it.
    Thinking of Teaching